By Tim Price, associate pastor at Chalcedon Presbyterian Church
When boys enter into puberty, they discover a door within themselves that has a sign saying, “DO NOT ENTER!” It is the door of sexual exploration and it has been presented to them by their new-found hormones. It is his responsibility to keep that door closed and to even guard it against any outside attempt — , i.e. seduction and temptation, — at prying it open. This is his first “rite of passage” into manhood, the first battle which begins with his own flesh.
Proverbs 5:7-8; 20-21: Now then, my sons, listen to me and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Keep your way far from her and do not go near the door of her house,… For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress and embrace the bosom of a foreigner? For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He watches all his paths.
Unfortunately, some boys are quiet bombs ready to explode with sensuousness. All boys entering puberty lack the grace-given self control of the mature man, but some boys have no desire for it and would rather unleash their lust and have it satisfied. They want to force that forbidden door open rather than to fight and guard to keep it closed. There are a number of reasons for this which comes down to really two, i.e. poor parental practice and/or a rebellious disposition in the boy, but by the time the boy has forced open the door the old causes cannot be fixed.
We’re talking about Christian boys who have been exposed to teaching with regard to sexual morality and to whom is extended the grace to overcome through faith. I say “exposed to teaching” because the Silent Bombs don’t listen. Remember Proverbs 5:7 begins, “Now then, my sons, listen to me And do not depart from the words of my mouth.” This is a lesson to young parents of boys: Do NOT take lightly when your boy does not listen. That’s where the first elements of the Silent Bomb are crafted: in the insular Self that refuses to be informed and counseled. Any disturbance the young parent sees in the boy’s reception of Truth is a serious matter. It is not uncommon for young liars to become pedophiles. The prisons are full of boy-liars and any boy who will not hear instruction is a boy who is inventing instruction for himself. What lies are heard on the outside betray a factory of lies in the heart. (We don’t appreciate this in our society because lying is practically the social air we breathe.)
Sin may “lie at the door,” but when it is stirred from its resting place it does not sit still. Willful sin is a horrible thing. Once a boy forces the sensual door open (whether a sexual door or one of drunkenness, drugs, or self-glorification… there are many), he has begun a journey. He may think that he will have his little satisfaction and then leave, but he is acting the fool. Having forced himself into wickedness, what strength does he have to leave? His strength is bent toward wickedness so that, to righteousness he is weak and weakening. He will not come out of the dark room he has entered until God intervenes and that will probably be after he is wounded sorely. Also, he does not understand the inertia of what is behind the Forbidden Door. It is a death vacuum that is ready to suck him in. I’ve often marveled at how quickly a young man (and young woman) has fairly flown from the faith, having gone from enthusiastic-evangelistic to deep drug addiction as if they were suddenly picked up and hurled out of the Faith. Youth who force their way into sin do serious damage to themselves; damage that will take years to repair. That sin-damage, the wounded and exiled conscience, is against the very thing they need to resist sin, a healthy and vibrant conscience. Willful sin kills the conscience and closes and locks the door behind the boy so that there is no place to go but further in.
The Devil is much harder on Covenant children than he is on his own. He knows that when he captures a young soul, waves of distress and strife will run through the families and churches. He loves to pollute the names and reputations of church-men by turning a scandal with their sons and the subversion of the boys is his easiest entrance into the inner workings of the church. Leaders who do not know his devices will tear their hair out with wonder when he has gotten his foothold into Christ’s domain. Satan is also desperate to take out the young boys while they’re weak because he has felt the boots of tens of thousands of young Christian warriors on his neck in the last 2000 years and he must get them before they get him, for it is so ordered that they should vanquish him in order that they may become captains (rather than “captives.”) (Joshua 10:23-25)
The last part of Proverbs 5 says, “23) He will die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.” Parents tend to think their boys will sow their oats and then will grow out of it. That is a lie and it is not the teaching of Scripture. When boys won’t listen to instruction from those who have been down the path, the do not walk the path of righteousness, but they walk a path of their own folly. How can they return when they are not there in the first place? They have gone astray, which means they are not on the path of righteousness and do not even know what that path is.
But O what reward when a young boy finds the peace of God that “guards his heart.” He listens to counsel and seeks the will of the Lord. He humbles himself under the instruction of the righteous and the day comes when, having stood on Satan’s neck, he is exalted by God to godly manhood. Happy is that boy!